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‘Hard Knocks’ Episode 5 recap: Jets ready to ‘fly together’ in 2023 season

ByGuillermo Garcia

Sep 5, 2023

Tanzel Smart , the veteran defensive lineman, gets word that he will not be brought back to the Jets’ final roster. Instead, he has been given the chance to return as a practice squad player following initial cuts. Smart graciously accepts the offer and is retained by the Jets.

“It’s a blessing to be back with y’all boys,” Smart exclaims, breaking down a huddle in practice.

Running back Israel Abanikanda sits in a family circle back at home in Brooklyn, New York, and shares the story of his family sacrificing everything to come to live in America. We hear that Abanikanda’s father, originally from Nigeria, traveled to America alone. Soon after, Abanikanda’s mother (pregnant at the time) flew over to start a new life. Abanikanda shares that he wants to give back to his family for all the effort that was put in to giving him the best life possible.

“That’s what I want to do for them is sacrifice,” Abanikanda says.

Abanikanda, another player who made the Jets’ 53-man roster, now has the chance to live out his dream: providing for his family by playing football.

Like a musical on Broadway, the curtain sets on this Hard Knocks tale. The finale comes to a close with the Black Pumas singing “More Than a Love Song.” The lyrics, “fly together, fly together” repeat in the background behind Saleh posing a final question to his team.

“What do we do now?” coach Saleh asks.